Winter Wonderland in Big Bear!

If you’ve been reading my blog, you already know I’m a sucker for a good weekend getaway. And what better place to escape to than the polar opposite of what I have everyday in Orange County- a winter wonderland in Big Bear!

I booked an incredible Airbnb near Big Bear Lake. Here’s a link to the property. Kevin was a fantastic host, communicating everything we needed to know. The cabin was cozy, homey and had our favorite amenity- a hot tub!

We left Irvine around 4pm on Friday. Unfortunately, this appears to have been too late of a start to this drive. It ended up taking us about 4 hours to get there, when normally it should only take 2. The traffic, rain and eventually the snow made our journey much slower. But we were excited about the trip, so the time spent in the car actually added to the hype.

Checking in was a breeze with the lock box, and we got settled in around 9pm. We immediately poured drinks and proceeded to spend a beautiful, serene night under the stars in the hot tub.

The next morning, we woke to a snowy paradise. More had fallen overnight and laid a clean blanket across the yard. After a quick breakfast at Denny’s (we’re simple people) we headed to our favorite hiking trail in the area.

Castle Rock Trail is perfect for exploring and getting gorgeous elevated views of the lake. During the snow, it was pretty intense (it’s all uphill and I fell into a few holes covered by snow) but made for a fun adventure. Our pup joined us and we quickly learned that he LOVES snow!

We hiked for about 3 hours. By the time we returned to our car, we were exhausted. We headed back to base (the cabin), dropped Jack off and headed into town. We wandered along Main Street and grabbed some much-needed coffee. After seeing the shops and how crowded the area was, we retreated to our private little winter oasis. The rest of the evening was spent drinking and talking about life in the hot tub.

The next morning, we explored the area more by simply googling ‘Sledding in Big Bear’ and stopping at nearby parks.

We hiked a trail around the lake, and stopped at Boulder Bay Park for some gorgeous views.

We decided that we couldn’t resist our inner child and purchased a sled. $30 was well worth it- we found a hill across from Boulder Bay and had a blast shredding. Our dog even liked it!

Overall- this weekend getaway was exactly what we needed. A true escape, something totally different from our everyday. Here are a few of my Big Bear tips..

1) Splurge for an awesome Airbnb. Skip the hotels for the comfort and privacy of your own place to call “home base”. I can’t even imagine staying somewhere without a hot tub. SO worth it.

2) Check the forecasts when planning your trip dates.

3) TIRE. CHAINS. We have 4 wheel drive, but tire chains are absolutely necessary for vehicles that don’t. And even if you do have 4 wheel drive, bring them in case.

4) Skip the fancy meals or mom-and-pop places for speed. Your time should be focused on exploring the beautiful scenery (unless that isn’t your cup of tea/coffee/whiskey- in that case, the Main Street in town is perfect for you)

5) Bring snow clothes, or you will end up a cold wet mess.

6) Buy that sled and let yourself be young again.

I wish I was still in the mountains, but I am off to another week at work. Here’s to daydreaming about the next adventure…

-Lauren

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